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Food for the soul!
By DEANNA FRANKS
God intended us to eat many things, of which are "fruits of the earth." With that in mind and the fact St Petersburg has an endearing Saturday morning downtown market, I invite you to take a walk with me along Central Ave. and see if anything does your fancy...

Fresh flowers, potted plants and ample produce act as the market's west gate while mouth watering BBQ and a tasty breakfast oasis carve a line eastward. Beyond sensational eats, the market showcases live music as well as arts and crafts featuring local scenery.

Steps away from the picturesque downtown pier, the St Pete market welcomes visitors between 9:00AM and 2:00PM every Saturday from October until May. "Summers are just too hot for this kind of thing" shares Juliana Brie also known as "the cheese lady". Juliana is proud to offer a wide variety of local and imported cheeses which seem to attract tons of local customers flocking to her delicious samples. "I sell out almost every week" says Brie who's last name matches her most popular type of cheese. She giggles explaining the coincidence has always been a fun ice breaker and remains thankful for her home based business. "What are the odds of that-- I mean come on!"

Gracie (right) bites into a colorful tangerine and quickly finds out why this zesty fruit is meant to be peeled first. "We've been getting our produce here for a couple years, this is Gracie's favorite thing to do on Saturdays besides church" says mom, a St Pete resident who migrated from Ohio six years ago in search of tropical pleasures such as this. "I think it's awesome that we're walking around buying produce and enjoying breakfast outside in 75 degree weather while my dad is knee deep in snow trying to clear his driveway back in Ohio".

Welcoming more than 8,000 vacationers each month, the St Pete market has become more than a trendy place to gift shop. It also serves as convenience store for numerous boaters docked along the pier. "My wife Debbie and I get most our food here" says William Birks, a retired Army Captain turned avid sailer. He admits "This is one of the best spots along the west coast, we get pies, bread, our coffee, fruit and veggies, if they had milk we'd be all set!"

For kids of all ages...
By CARL WEST
Little Isabel recounts the lemons making sure she has exactly four
. Then the toddler picked-up three bright yellow bananas and one big melon, "the bigger the better kuz melons are all the same price mommy says".

More than a swell place for kids, adults and friendly pooches the downtown St Pete market is a poetic gateway to the amazing tropical eden shared between the downtown pier and the charming Vinoy area.

I am proud to say my wife, daughter and I shop at the downtown market regularly where we usually eat breakfast, get fresh produce for the week ahead and sometimes treat ourselves to local arts & crafts, or indulge in delicious sweets. We've invited friends, relatives, everyone loves it! I'm curious as to how many other towns do this type of thing, by that I mean close off an entire block of the downtown core every Saturday morning!

All I have to say is praise the Lord! To me, it's a fantastic use of streets paved by our tax dollars. It's a place where kids of all ages can eat, shop and even dance to Jazz music one week, Blues the next.

The St Pete market is where I get to enjoy tasty home fries with my steaming scrambled eggs and OJ squeezed right before my eyes. Smiles all around, fresh flowers, fresh bread, fresh attitudes. We'll see you there!

Every Saturday Morning in Downtown St. Petersburg
http://www.saturdaymorningmarket.com
Saturdays 9:00AM to 2:00PM
David Cellon Market Manager
(727) 455-4921
Central Ave at 2nd Street
Open from October to May

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